Thursday, April 4, 2019


ChiIL Live Shows on our radar


New Teatro Vista/Collaboraction co-production pairs
much of the original cast with rising new Latinx talent,
in an even more immersive nightclub setting

La Havana Madrid stars (top, from left) playwright Sandra Delgado as La Havana Madrid, Marvin Quijada as Carpacho, Tommy Rivera-Vega as Henry, Ayssette Muñoz as Maria, (bottom) Mike Oquendo as Tony, Ilse Zacharias as Myrna, Alix Rhode as Maruja and
Victor Musoni as Carlos. 

I caught the initial opening of La Havana Madrid, and was completely enchanted by Sandra Delgado's delightful, music filled immigrant story. It's a heartfelt ode to a beloved Chicago gathering space, where the displaced found community, support, love, and a melding of song and dance from numerous cultures. I'll be out again for the press opening of La Havana Madrid's enhanced remount May 17th. Check back soon after for my full review.

Anticipation is building for the spring return of 
La Havana Madrid, 
Chicago Latinx playwright and actor Sandra Delgado’s 
smash hit, all-immersive theatrical event 
inspired by true stories of a 1960’s Chicago nightclub 
and immigrant melting pot, La Havana Madrid.

La Havana Madrid, returning as an an enhanced co-production between Teatro Vista and Collaboraction, will be remounted May 11-June 22 in the Heath Mainstage at the Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. 

Tickets, $30-$60, are on sale now. Visit or call the Den Theatre Box office, (773) 697-3830, for tickets and information.

Back by popular demand, La Havana Madrid transports audiences back to a popular 1960s Chicago nightclub of the same name, where Latin0 immigrants new to Chicago found refuge to gather, meet, sing, dance, dine, find love and discover their destinies. Inspired by real stories of Cuban, Puerto Rican and Colombian immigrants, La Havana Madrid recreates a special time and place in Chicago history by immersing audiences in the lively music of that decade. Throughout, La Havana Madrid reveals how and why Latinos originally migrated to the shores of Lake Michigan, only to be pushed further west – away from the lake – by the forces of gentrification and racism.

Today, Collaboraction and Teatro Vista announced the cast and design team for the return of La Havana Madrid. Sandra Delgado, both a Teatro Vista ensemble member and a founding company member of Collaboraction, will reprise her role as La Havana Madrid, the evening’s lead singer and mystical mistress of ceremonies who channels audiences through a series of true stories of Latino immigrants in Chicago, how and why they arrived here, the barriers they overcame, and their lasting impact from generation to generation still today.

Teatro Vista ensemble members Tommy Rivera-Vega and Marvin Quijada will return as young immigrants new to Chicago who each met, danced, loved and lost at La Havana Madrid. Chicago actor and comedian Mike Oquendo also returns as Tony Quintana, the once owner of La Havana Madrid and host of the 1960s Chicago radio show “Tony’s Latin A-Go-Go.”

Also back is legendary Colombian-American musician Roberto "Carpacho" Marin and his band of 30 years, Carpacho y Su Super Combo. Together with Delgado and the cast, Carpacho y Su Super Combo chronicles the history of Caribbean Latino music, live, from mambo, to cumbia, to the birth of salsa. And yes, by the end of the show, audience members need little encouragement to get on their feet and dance right along.

New to the cast are Teatro Vista ensemble members Ayssette Muñoz as Maria, one of 14,000 unaccompanied minors who made a mass exodus to the U.S. in the early 1960s as part of Operation Peter Pan, and Ilse Zacharias as Myrna, a force-of-nature Puerto Rican beauty queen with big plans to break through the glass ceiling of Chicago’s Latino community. Victor Musoni is cast as Carlos, a streetwise Puerto Rican teen from Lincoln Park who has a political awakening through his photography. Alix Rhode will play Maruja, Henry’s long-distance Colombian bride who he saves and sends for to join him in Chicago.

Teatro Vista ensemble member Cheryl Lynn Bruce, who directed the 2017 world premiere, returns to re-stage Delgado’s theatrical, cinematic and musical history of Latino Caribbeans in Chicago.

Planned updates to the physical production include a reimagined, more immersive set and video design that will evoke an actual night out at a real Chicago 1960s Latino nightclub, complete with cabaret seating, a dance floor and a small stage for the live band.

Original designers returning to help Bruce, the cast and the band re-realize this enhanced immersive environment are Collaboraction company members Elsa Hiltner (costumes) and Liviu Pasare (projections), along with Heather Skye Sparling (lights) and Teatro Vista ensemble member Jennifer Aparicio (production manager). New to the La Havana Madrid production team are Jose Manuel Diaz (set), Robert Hornbostel (sound) and Collaboraction company member Caitlin Body (stage manager). 

Original Production Photos: credit Joel Maisonet

Teatro Vista’s 2017 world premiere of La Havana Madrid resonated deeply with Chicagoans from all different backgrounds and ages. It played to capacity crowds at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre and The Miracle Center in Hermosa and then transferred for an extended summer run in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre that drew record attendance.

Chicago’s leading Latinx newspaper Hoy wrote “La obra tiene la magia de conectar a la comunidad, de revivir recuerdos” (“the work has the magic of connecting to the community, of reliving memories.”) New City and Time Out Chicago hailed La Havana Madrid one of the “Best of 2017.” Time Out’s readers named it “Best New Work.” The Chicago Tribune hailed La Havana Madrid “heartfelt and fascinating…bursting with music and warmth." 

“I am thrilled that my two artistic homes are coming together to bring
La Havana Madrid back to life. Both companies have a long history of collaborating and La Havana Madrid fits perfectly into their complementary missions, that of telling Latinx stories and uniting Chicagoans,” said Delgado.

“I am especially excited to be in the Heath Mainstage at the Den Theatre for the evolution of the La Havana Madrid experience. This malleable space is exactly what I have always envisioned for La Havana Madrid. With the combined strength of two companies, we will be able to fully realize the vision I have always had in mind, complete with immersive staging and evocative projections, that will transport audiences back to 1960's Chicago.”


Previews of La Havana Madrid are Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday,
May 12 at 3 p.m., and Wednesday and Thursday, May 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. Press opening is Friday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m. Performances run though June 22: Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $30 general admission, $50 table seat and $60 front row table seat. Tickets are on sale now at or call the Den at
(773) 697-3830. Group discounts available.

The Den Theatre is located at 1331 N. Milwaukee Avenue in the heart of Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Metered street parking is available on Milwaukee and surrounding side streets. Street parking can be difficult to find, so arrive early to secure a spot and then come by The Den for a pre-show drink at the bar. The Den is close to the CTA Blue Line Division Street stop, and the 9 Ashland, 70 Division and 56 Milwaukee CTA bus lines. For more information, visit

 Sandra Delgado | La Havana Madrid
"This is ultimately a Chicago story. This is our story, our story as a city." - Sandra Delgado

Flash back to Goodman Theatre's video trailer for La Havana Madrid, circa summer 2017:


Teatro Vista shares and celebrates the riches of Latinx culture with Chicago audiences. The company provides work and professional advancement opportunities for Latinx theatre artists, with special emphasis on the company’s ensemble members, and seeks to enhance the curricular goals of Chicago students through theater.

Teatro Vista was founded in 1990 by Edward Torres and Henry Godinez with a primary focus to produce new works by Latinx theatre artists and classic plays featuring artists of color. The company’s current leadership team is Ricardo Gutiérrez, Executive Artistic Director, and Sylvia Hevia, Managing and Development Director.

Teatro Vista is supported by Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events of the City of Chicago, Art Works, Illinois Arts Council, Lester and Hope Abelson, The Shubert Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, the Bayless Family Foundation and Vidal & Associates. Purple Group is Teatro Vista’s Headline Season Sponsor.

For more, visit, or follow the company on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.


Collaboraction, Chicago’s social contemporary theater, collaborates with a diverse community of Chicagoans, artists and community activists to create original theatrical experiences that push artistic boundaries and explore critical social issues. Since the company’s founding in 1996, Collaboraction has worked with more than 3,000 artists to bring more than 60 productions and events to more than 150,000 audience members.

For the past five years, Collaboraction has partnered with the Chicago Park District through their Night Out in the Parks program, returning each year to cultivate relationships and theater in Englewood, Austin and Hermosa through the Crime Scene, PEACEBOOK and Encounter tours. Production highlights also include its series of Crime Scene productions responding to Chicago’s crime epidemic; 15 years of the SKETCHBOOK Festival; and the YO SOLO Festival of Latino Solo Shows, co-produced with Teatro Vista in 2012.

Collaboraction is led by Artistic Director Anthony Moseley, Managing Director Dr. Marcus Robinson, a company of 20 talented Chicago theater artists, and a dedicated staff and board of directors. The company’s vision is to utilize theater to cultivate dialogue and action around our most critical social issues throughout Chicago.

Collaboraction is supported by The Chicago Community Trust, The Joyce Foundation, The Field Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, DCASE and the Wicker Park & Bucktown SSA #33 Chamber of Commerce. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

For more, visit, follow the company on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, or call the Collaboraction box office, (312) 226-9633.

Sandra Delgado by Joe Mazza/brave lux. Photo 

Sandra Delgado is a Colombian-American actor, writer, and producer born and raised in Chicago. She wrote and starred in La Havana Madrid, a Teatro Vista production at both the Steppenwolf Theatre and The Goodman Theatre. La Havana Madrid, Teatro Vista’s best-selling show in its 25-year history, played to sold out houses, and deeply resonated with Chicagoans from all different backgrounds. La Havana Madrid received recognition as one of the best plays of 2017 by Time Out Chicago (including the audience award for Best New Work) and New City Chicago. It was nominated by the Alliance of Latinx Theatre Artists (ALTA) for the Maria Irene Fornes New Play Award and received an ALTA Award for Best Production.

In addition to her writing, Delgado is also a respected veteran of the stage, with a career spanning almost two decades. She most recently starred in La Ruta at Steppenwolf Theatre. Acting highlights include Jocasta in Oedipus El Rey at The Public Theater, the titular character in La Havana Madrid, the epic five-hour 2666 at The Goodman Theatre, her star turn as Veronica opposite Jimmy Smits in Motherf**ker with the Hat at Steppenwolf Theatre, and Mojada at Victory Gardens Theater, where her portrayal of Medea earned distinction as one of the Top Ten performances of 2013 by the Chicago Tribune.

Delgado is also deeply committed to mentoring, advocating, and creating opportunities for her fellow Latinx theatre artists as a producer. Her groundbreaking YO SOLO Festival of Latino Solo Shows, co-produced by Collaboraction and Teatro Vista in 2012, was the first of its kind in the country. She co-curated Steppenwolf’s LookOut series during the run of her show La Havana Madrid, bringing dozens of Latinx artists to perform at Steppenwolf for the first time, and in the process creating community and a cultural hub for Latinx Chicagoans. Saints and Sinners, her new storytelling and music series, is also an extension of her drive to create more opportunities for writers and performers of color and provide a space to cultivate connection and understanding. Her advocacy work also includes serving on the Actors’ Equity Association EEO Committee since 2005 and co-chairing their annual Spirit, A Celebration of Diversity for the last three years as well as serving on the Latinx Theatre Commons advisory committee, a national advocacy organization for Latinx Theatre artists, since 2014.

In addition to being an ensemble member of Teatro Vista (Associate Artistic Director from 2006-2008), Delgado is a founding ensemble member of Collaboraction (est. 1997), and is devoted to their mission of creating new works around Chicago’s most critical social issues. She is the recipient of a 2018 3Arts Award, the Joyce Award, The Theater Communications Group (TCG) Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship in the Extraordinary Potential Category, a two-time Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events grantee, a 3Arts 3AP Project Grantee, and received the 2017 Latina Professional of the Year Award from the Chicago Latino Network. Delgado is a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, a member of ALTA's Semillero Playwright's Circle, and a 2015/2016 member of the Goodman Theatre’s Playwright’s Unit. She is one of the 20 women of Chicago arts and culture honored in Kerry James Marshall's mural RUSH MORE on the facade of the Chicago Cultural Center. Her new play, Felons and Familias, the inaugural "In the Works" commission for Theatre on the Lake, received a workshop production as part of TOTL's 2018 season and was featured in The Goodman Theatre’s New Stages Festival this past fall under the new title, Hundreds and Hundreds of Stars.

Cheryl Lynn Bruce (director) is a Teatro Vista ensemble member, and like Delgado, she is one of the 20 women of Chicago arts and culture honored in Kerry James Marshall's mural RUSH MORE on the facade of the Chicago Cultural Center. She directed the world premiere of La Havana Madrid, and served as assistant director of Teatro Vista’s productions of Tamer of Horses and A View From the Bridge. She recently won the African American Arts Alliance Black Excellence Award and a 2018 Jeff nomination for directing Congo Square’s Jitney. She has performed on stages across the country and internationally, including recently at Steppenwolf Theatre in Familiar. Bruce created the role of Elizabeth Sandry for Steppenwolf’s Tony Award-winning production of The Grapes of Wrath, adapted and directed by Frank Galati for Broadway’s Cort Theatre, Britain’s National Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse. She also workshopped and premiered in RACE, Lookingglass Theatre’s inaugural production directed by David Schwimmer and Joy Gregory.

Bruce received a 3Arts Award (2010), a 3Arts fellowship to support a five-week Rauschenberg residency (2015), a Jane Addams Hull House Association’s Woman of Valor Award (2010) and a Yale Research Residency (2011). She was awarded the 2002 African American Arts Alliance Black Excellence Award and Black Theatre Alliance Award for Outstanding Direction of Endesha Ida Mae Holland’s From The Mississippi Delta at Congo Square Theater. Other directing credits include Resurrection by Daniel Beaty and Drip by Gloria Bond Clunie at eta Creative Arts Foundation, Milkweed: A Solo Play by Misty De Berry for Columbia College at Links Hall and Northwestern University, Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston at University of Illinois at Chicago and Congo Square Theater, Cage Rhythm by Kia Korthron for University of Illinois at Chicago and Theatre School at DePaul University, and Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons for Indiana University Northwest. In 2006 she was an Inaugural Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media at Columbia College. In 2007 Bruce traveled to Japan to study Bunraku puppetry for her staging of Rythm Mastr, Kerry James Marshall’s urban comic which premiered at the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Marvin Quijada (Carpacho) is a Chicago based electronic music producer/composer, iOS musician, DJ, theatrical actor, and a clown/mime. He's excited to return to the world of La Havana Madrid. His theatrical credits in Chicago include: Pericles, Short Shakespeare! The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello (Chicago Shakespeare) Season on the Line (The House Theatre), The Dueling Gentlemen (Silent Theatre Company) which he wrote and directed, among others. His New York credits include: Lulu: A Black and White Silent Play (Silent Theatre) which won best play at the NY Fringe Festival in 2005. TV credits include Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. He is an ensemble member with Teatro Vista and Silent Theater. Follow him on soundcloud and instagram at SILENT MARVIN.

Tommy Rivera-Vega, Teatro Vista ensemble member, recently played Ezekiel in Goodman Theatre’s Lottery Day. Chicago credits include La Havana Madrid, Parachute Men, Between You Me and the Lampshade, A View From the Bridge and Momma’s Boyz (Teatro Vista); Support Group for Men, Mother Road (Goodman Theatre); Frederick (Chicago Children's Theatre); West Side Story (Drury Lane); In the Heights (Skylight Music Theatre); In the Heights and My Fair Lady (Paramount Theatre); Three Sisters (Steppenwolf); Kiss of the Spiderwoman (BoHo Theatre); Augusta & Noble (Adventure Stage); Pippin (Music Theatre Company) and CATS (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre). Puerto Rico credits include Spring Awakening and Footloose (Black Box Theatre).

Ayssette Muñoz moved to Chicago in 2013 from a small Texas border town in the Rio Grande Valley. She was featured in the Chicago Tribune's “Top 10 Hot New Faces of Chicago Theatre” in 2015, due to her appearance as Catherine in A View From the Bridge with Teatro Vista. She quickly became an Artistic Associate with the company in 2014, and is now a proud ensemble member. Since then, she originated the role of Miranda in Ike Holter’s Wolf at The End of the Block, Amparo in Raul Castillo’s Between You, Me, and the Lampshade, and Maria Teresa in Caridad Svich's In the Time of the Butterflies. Other Chicago credits include Muriel McComber in Ah Wilderness (Goodman Theatre) and Mary Whitney in Alias Grace (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble). She understudied and performed in Steppenwolf’s critically acclaimed production The Doppelganger, alongside Rainn Wilson and fellow Teatro Vista ensemble member Sandra Marquez. Other understudy credits include Lookingglass Theatre's Plantation!, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet. TV/film credits include Chicago P.D. and the award-winning feature En Algun Lugar (Iconoclast Films).

Mike Oquendo is a Chicago born comedy show host and theater producer who stages over 80 shows a year in Chicago and across the country. His shows have been featured on The View, Telemundo, Univision, People en Español, Broadway World and the Chicago Tribune. He is one a handful of Latinos to have trained in New York’s Commercial Theater Institute. His recent production of the off-Broadway hit Made in Puerto Rico with Comedian Eli Castro sold out seven weeks in New York City. He continues to host his Mikey O Comedy Shows in Chicago.

Ilse Zacharias (Myrna) is thrilled to be returning to Teatro Vista. Chicago credits include The Abuelas, The Madres and Wolf at the End of the Block u/s (Teatro Vista), Anna Karenina (Lifeline Theatre), Crime and Punishment (Shattered Globe); Into the Beautiful North (16th Street Theater); and Shrewish u/s (Artemisia Theatre). She has also worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Court Theater, American Blues Theater, Water People, The Bridge Theater and Something Marvelous. TV credits include The Exorcist. Zacharias received her BFA in Acting from Roosevelt University. She can currently be heard as the title role in BRAVA, a podcast produced by the co-author of Hamilton, Jeremy McCarter and the Make-Believe Association.

Alix Rhode, a Chicago native, is making her professional debut in La Havana Madrid. She is currently a junior at the Chicago College of Performing Arts pursuing her BFA in Musical Theatre.

Victor Musoni is a freshman at UIC studying to receive his BFA in theater. He is an ensemble member of The Yard Theatre Company. He was last seen in The Q Brothers Rome Sweet Rome (UIC main stage). He has recently appeared in Back The Night (UIC Studio Theatre), Fun Harmless War Machine (The New Colony), NO CHILD (Definition Theatre Company), Blood at the Root (Jackalope Theatre), Columbinus (Steppenwolf/The Yard),The Toilet (Haven Theatre), Race to the Finish (Kuumba Lynx), Snack Break 1&2 (The Yard), staged reading of Cardboard Piano (Timeline Theatre), How We Got On (Haven Theatre), staged reading of The Stories of us (Visión Latino Theatre Company). Film credits include Run Boy Run Girl, Brujos Web Series and 6x9 (Cinema Libertad). Music videos include Young Lost Love by Appleby and Sinner by Ric Wilson.

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